The State of Education I

Is Louisiana's System for Teacher Evaluations Accurate?

There are many components that go into being a truly effective teacher. In Louisiana, policy dictates that two observations and an assessment score should narrowly judge the entirety of a teacher's work; every component and nuance of teaching for multiple students. Once a score is issued, there is almost no opportunity for teachers to redress any inaccuracies or inconsistencies in their evaluation.


The January Edition

This month, the Governor announced his Executive Budget. Each year the Governor releases his proposed budget, based on the revenue recognized by the state Revenue Estimating Conference, and it is largely considered to be the starting point for the state budget process.

In this year’s budget, the Governor proposed a $1,500 raise for teachers and $750 for school employees. He also said that if the REC recognizes additional revenue at their meeting in May, $49 million should go towards funding an additional $500 pay increase for teachers.

This raise would be the largest state-wide pay raise that Louisiana teachers have received in over a decade, and there are already members of the legislature questioning whether or not such an amount is feasible. But the truth is, this isn’t enough. Our schools have gone through cataclysmic changes in the last couple years. Educators feel like they’re working more than ever. Teacher retirement has gone up 25% from 2020-2021 and enrollment in teaching programs is at an all-time low. In order to get out of this hole we’re in, Louisiana needs to do more than just a few hundred dollars better than what was done last year, we need policy makers to recognize the extraordinary sacrifice of our teachers and school employees and rise to this extraordinary moment in history.

Louisiana is nearly $5,000 below the Southern Regional Average, and given teacher raises that are being proposed in other states, that number is only going up. Teachers deserve at least a $2,500 increase this year and next year, along with guaranteed cola increases in perpetuity, so that we don’t fall back into this hole again.


JFT Update: January 20th

Jefferson Federation of Teachers has requested that the district host townhall type meetings where employees can have open dialogue with the superintendent. We are happy to announce that they will host three for employees and three for the community. They will occur on alternating sides of the river.


New School Board Member

Last night, the Jefferson Parish School Board appointed Rafael Rafidi to take the place of Larry Dale, who resigned his seat on the board at the end of last year. Mr. Rafidi’s appointment has proved controversial given statements he has made online and his lack of experience in education.


JFT Update: Happy Holidays

December 20, 2021

Paraeducator Grievance
JPPSS Policy states that para educators may be used as substitutes only in emergencies when substitutes including teachers as substitutes are not available. It has come to our attention that at many schools, Para educators are increasingly being used as substitutes in situations that do not qualify as emergencies. The justification provided is that para educators are covering classes because of staffing shortages and vacancies. These shortages and vacancies were not caused by an emergency. There was no sudden, urgent, unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action. Staffing shortages and vacancies could and should have been anticipated. The school system’s vacancies and high absenteeism should not fall on the shoulders of para educators.
Given this information, it became necessary for the Jefferson Federation of Teachers to file a grievance on behalf of the paraeducators of the district. It has been received by the district, and we anticipate a meeting, in the near future, to resolve this issue. We will meet with our paraeducator members to discuss the results of the grievance.